Bringing processing innovation to the critical-metals supply chain

Voyageur Minerals Ltd. and IMC Sign MOU for Worldwide Rights to High-Purity Barite Technology

March 20th, 2018  

CALGARY, Alberta, March 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)Voyageur Minerals Ltd. (“VM” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:VM) is pleased to announce that it has signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”), to access IMC’s proprietary processing technology for the production of high-purity barium sulfate (“barite”).

IMC is a private Ontario-based company that develops cost-effective separation and purification processes for the critical-materials industry.

“With this innovative technology, VM will be able to direct its future barite production towards the highest-value customers within the high-end industrial barite market space,” said John Rucci, President & CEO of VM. “Today, 100% of high-purity barite in the US and Canada rely on foreign imports, primarily from China. With access to this new technology, Voyageur moves forward with its goal of providing customers with a local source of multiple industrial grades.”

The IMC technology will allow VM to produce consistent high-grade barite suitable for multiple industrial grades, including the pharmaceutical market and high-end filler markets, including reagents, paints and plastics.

“The US government considers barite to be a mineral of critical and strategic importance to US national and economic security,” commented Gareth Hatch, President of IMC, “as most recently embodied in Executive Order 13817 issued on December 20, 2017 by President Trump. We look forward to working with Voyageur Minerals to bring North American sources of this important mineral to the market.”

Production Plant
On completion of pilot-scale testing, a commercial-scale demonstration plant (the “Demo Plant”) will be built, capable of producing 2,000 tonnes per year of high-purity barite. Production will initially begin from a 10,000-tonne bulk sample. After the Demo Plant is completed and tested, VM plans to increase production to 6,000 – 10,000 tonnes per year.

The Company has been working with IMC to test the technology and initial results indicate that pharmaceutical-grade barite (99.5%+ purity) can consistently be achieved. Pharmaceutical-grade barite currently sells for between US$2,800 – US$7,500 per tonne (FOB China).

VM is in discussions with a number of key players in the pharmaceutical and high-end barite industry. As the Company advances the project, it will work to secure potential off-take supply agreements.

Any cash flow from operations will fund continued exploration of VM barite deposits, focusing on expanding potential resources. Voyageur will also utilize cash flow for the further development of the Company’s lithium projects in Utah, USA.

Terms of MOU and Proposed Joint Venture
The MOU proposes the creation of a joint-venture company (the “JV”) between VM and IMC. Following completion of pilot-scale testing, VM will fund the construction of the Demo Plant, with the JV structured to give VM 75% and IMC 25% ownership of the JV. Once the JV has achieved mutually agreed minimum production rates, VM will have the right to buy IMC’s 25% ownership of the JV at fair market value. If VM buys out the 25% IMC interest, IMC will retain a 1% net profit royalty, which can also be purchased by VM for CAD$1,000,000, for up to five years after commercial-scale production commences.

About Voyageur Minerals Ltd.
Voyageur Minerals Ltd. (“VM” or the “Company”) is a Calgary-based company which owns a 100% interest in three barium sulfate (“barite”) deposits, including two properties which initial work suggests are suitable in grade for the industrial and pharmaceutical barite market place.

The Company also has interests in two high-grade lithium brine projects in Utah, USA. VM’s business plan is to develop its barite deposit at Frances Creek, British Columbia, for potential near-term cash flow, while it continues exploration for critical and strategic minerals.

About Innovation Metals Corp.
Innovation Metals Corp. (“IMC”) is a private Ontario-based company and the developer of the RapidSX™ process, a patent-pending, low-cost approach to the separation of lithium, REEs, nickel, cobalt, barite and other critical materials. IMC provides low-cost separation capabilities to current and existing metal and minerals producers, assuring security of supply for end users and sovereign governments.

Qualified Person Statement
Mr. Randy Henkle, P.Geol, is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 guidelines, and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.

Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements including statements regarding the acquisition of future assets, the discovery and commercialization of commercial quantities of industrial minerals, the successful commercialization of the Company’s assets, expected operational activities, other statements that are not historical facts. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as there can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which they are based will occur. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, known and unknown risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, that contribute to the possibility that the predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements will not occur, which may cause actual performance and results in future periods to differ materially from any estimates or projections of future performance or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These assumptions, risks and uncertainties include, among other things: the risk that the assets do not provide commercial quantities or grades of marketable minerals, that even if they do contain commercial quantities of marketable minerals that the Company will not be able to economically produce such discoveries, the acquired technology will not work in the field, the existence of commercial grades of commercial minerals, timing of obtaining required approvals, state of the economy in general and capital markets in particular, investor interest in the business and future prospects of the Company.

The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release. Except as required by law, the Company disclaims any intention and assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable securities law. Additionally, the Company undertakes no obligation to comment on the expectations of, or statements made, by third parties in respect of the matters discussed above.